How to Smooth Out Water-Based Polyurethane

Woodworking is a great way to get your mind off the rest of the day, or week.

Smooth Out Water-Based PolyurethaneSmooth Out Water-Based Polyurethane
After you have assembled that table, bench or whatever and step back to look at your work, there is a sense of satisfaction in your creation. As you take another look you think to yourself that there could be more. A nice glossy finish would make this creation just perfect. That is when polyurethane comes into the picture.

Prepare your work area. Primarily, you want an area that is dust-free. You do not need to create a plastic shield around the area, but the least amount of activity and exposure to dust the better.

Brush on two coats of polyurethane with the foam brush. The foam brush prevents fine hairs from getting into the finish. Let the polyurethane cure before applying the second coat. Sand each coat with 220-grit sandpaper.

Brush on two more coats of polyurethane. Let each coat cure. This time use the 400-grit sandpaper dipped in paint thinner and wet sand each coat.

Brush on two more coats of a 50% polyurethane/50% paint thinner mixture. Let each coat cure. This will help get the polyurethane smoothed out and begin the glossy shine. Sand each coat with 400-grit sand paper and buff with bronze wool.

Things You Will Need

  • 220-grit sandpaper 400-grit sandpaper Polyurethane Foam brush Paint thinner Bronze wool


  • Do not use steel wool. Fibers left behind will eventually rust and mess with the finish. Do not shake the polyurethane before use. If can cause a rough finish and more work for you later.

About the Author

Launie Sorrels is a veteran who has worked as a chef and has more than two decades of martial arts training. His writing has developed from his experience as a quality assurance manager for Microsoft and IBM. Sorrels has a degree in computer science and is currently working on his journalism degree.